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Magic Under the Mangroves 2011: A record-breaking gala fundraiser

Magic Under the Mangroves 2011 Gala Fundraiser
Generates Record $550,000
for Conservancy of Southwest Florida

"Magic Under the Mangroves" was a smashing success for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida on March 3. More than 450 guests raised a record $550,000 net for Conservancy programs, announced Nancy White, the event chairwoman. Northern Trust and Gulf Bay were the presenting sponsors of the event.

Future, present and past Magic Chairs:  Jeannie Smith, Nancy White,  Maureen Lerner, Sue Dalton
Future, present and past Magic Chairs: Jeannie Smith, Nancy White, Maureen Lerner, Sue Dalton

"Our goal exceeded our expectations and represents a $100,000 increase compared to our goal of $450,000," according to Andrew McElwaine, Conservancy of Southwest Florida president and CEO. "So many people deserve the credit for this success: our sponsors, our patrons, our past Magic chairs, the Board, the Magic Committee and our Magic Chairwoman, Nancy White."

The late Jack Briggs was honored as the recipient of the 2011 Eagle Award, the highest honor and coveted award given by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to a person or group who has significantly contributed to the protection of the area's water, land and wildlife. Mr. Briggs and his family funded the creation of the Briggs Nature Center in honor of the commitment of his parents, Bea and Stephen Briggs, who were instrumental in the creation and growth of Naples Community Hospital and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.

This year's Eagle Award was sponsored by Bank of America and U.S. Trust Wealth Management. Gerri Moll, bank president for southwest Florida, assisted in the award presentation to honor Briggs. The award was presented to both Mary Jane Briggs and Stephen Briggs.

The event featured cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and a silent auction, followed by a seated dinner and live auction. In 2010, the event netted over $440,000 to support the work of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to protect our water, land, wildlife and future. The total raised includes $81,000 during the "Float the Boat" portion of the live auction --- an initiative to enhance the organization’s Good Fortune pontoon boat cruises through Rookery Bay. Fourth-grader Alex Crisci from Osceola Elementary, who has attended the past three Conservancy summer camps and enjoyed the Good Fortune cruises, explained why the cruises are so important. "Once everybody sees the spectacular beauty and the wildlife of Rookery Bay, you come away with a better understanding that we have a responsibility to protect it," said Cresci. Macy's, as sponsor of “Float the Boat,” matched the first $10,000 raised.

Northern Trust and Gulf Bay were the presenting sponsors of this year's event. Supporting sponsors included Pelican Bay, Gulfshore Life magazine, Florida Weekly, NBC-2, the Miami Dolphins, Comcast, Macy's and Betty MacLean Travel. The Magic Patron Party was held on February 13, 2011 at the private Keewaydin Club on Keewaydin Island, sponsored by BNY Mellon Wealth Management and Marsh Private Client Services.

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2011 Magic Planning Committee
Nancy White

Honorary Chair
Mary Jane Briggs

Auction Chair
Kerry Edwards

Board Auction Chair
Pamela C. Williams

 Rebecca Allen
 Judith Hushon
 Edith Andrew
 Lin Klein
 Kellie Burns
 Maureen Lerner
 Karin Ciesla
 Shelley Lund
 Sara Clark
 Catherine Miller
 Elaine Cole
 Jane Pearsall
 Donna Comstock
 Vickie Pruter
 Charlotte Corddry
 Susan Regenstein
 Elizabeth Cottingham
 Teri Sanders
 Susan Dalton
 Lynne Shotwell
 Linda Diaz
 Jeannie Smith
 Carol Dinardo
 Vicky Smith
 Carol Farmer
 Roxane Stagg
 Gloria Ferreri
 Martha Tardy
 Cynthia Fiber
 Roselyn Travis
 Renee Gaddis
 Sharon von Arx
 Donna Hall
 Lesley Webster
 Shelli Halper
 Arlene Weyl
 Jennifer Housh
 Barbara B Wilson
 Mary Lou Hull
 Sheelah Windfeldt
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